Did you know you can get a poison ivy rash in the Fall and Winter, even after all the leaves have fallen off the plant, and just the vines and roots are left? I did not. The saint and I knew we had a few patches left in our garden beds to get rid of–we waited until a few frosts had passed. I walked into our backyard recently to find a field of crunchy frost, thick and deliciously cold. Now was the time to finally kill the fiend–or so I thought. It still lived, quietly waiting to attack. War was here. But I was ready.
You can’t burn the evil that is poison ivy–the smoke releases the infamous urushiol oil from the plant (what gives you the rash) and you can inhale the oil into your lungs. If you pick the plant (see: forcefully yank up the said beast with a wild glint of triumph and malice), you’ll need to wash all your clothing–and your body–thoroughly–including the gloves and other protective gear you should be wearing. Otherwise the oil lingers and chuckles in glee, causing continued reactions for up to a year. I did discover one alternative to eradicating the evil plant. GOATS. Goats eat poison ivy apparently–along with a plethora of other items questionable to our human guts.
I may write a letter to Heaven then, asking Gabriel to send forth a holy flock from on high to my backyard one day soon. Kill the evil that is, dear little goaties, once and for all. Go forth and conquer!